Friday, 29 February 2008

Sioned asks for ideas on social media

We are just starting the conference, and I asked development manager Sioned Hughes what discussion she hoped would start around the use of blogs and other social media - and how new forms of communication might help Board members. One of the big challenges in Wales is the time it can take people to get to meetings because of the geography.
We hope to get some ideas during the conference for using social media - from those here in Cwmbran, and anyone else looking in to this blog


Lloyd said...

As David will know, I would very much support what you're doing in terms of mixing face-to-face meetings with building relationships online. The challenge (though not actually a very hard one) is to find ways of using media to complement and enrich your existing offline relationships.

Very good too, to see some laughter to open a conference :)

davidwilcox said...

Thanks Lloyd - how about a Tuttle Club in Cardiff

Paul Henderson said...

Hi David still at the Circuit Riders conference, still no wireless so i'm doing this on my phone after reading your post earlier! Laura Miles and I were doing a session on web office tools and showing and showing pageflakes netvibes etc.I blogged about yesterday over and ruralnet online and put up my pics on flickr

Michele Martin said...

What a great idea, to look at how to use social media to supplement your face-to-face meetings. One thought I have is to use Ning, where you can create your own social network that allows for individual blog posts, forum discussions, video, photos, etc. I have the Building a Better Blog community as an example:

Anonymous said...

I'm at a disadvantage because my computer crashed and I haven't reinstalled the audio/speakers .. so can't hear the video!!!

I remember back in early 1990s when I was working as an online community organizer for arts organizations -- we were trying to get boards to use private, text based discussion boards for their meetings because of the travel/geographic distance savings. Now, this was an idea before its time and it was before the Internet had been fully adopted.

If people don't see enough value to go through any learning curve that's needed, the project won't work.

So, start with simple steps, simple successes first. Building blocks.

Do they want to use a social media tool as a vehicle for upfront communication before a face meeting or as a follow up? Upfront is nice because you can spend less time reporting if people hash out a few issues before and do some readings. Also nice way to keep the decisions made at meetings.

What pain and suffering will this relieve other than reduce travel costs?

What enhancements will add to the board that weren't there before?

Can these values be gotten from an alternative strategy/tool? What are the pros/cons?

What is a small proof of concept experiment - and what are you learning questions.

Okay, I've prattled on too much - must install the rest of my software ..

Lloyd said...

Ha ha! yes, I'm quite sure that Harry Tuttle has some subversive Welsh blood in him.

He's certainly too good for just London. Point people my way if they want to talk about setting something up.

davidwilcox said...

Thanks everyone this is fantastic ... I'm running a session at 4.30 and was wondering how to get it started. You are doing it for me!

DK said...

Think about have a social media mix to ensure a cross section of participation - blogs are a great start as it provides a platform for other uses like podcasting or vodcasting (as above) - then you can explore wikis, google docs, slideshare etc etc

More importantly, have fun with it all and don't be afraid to click :-)

MediaSnackers Founder (based in RCT)

the Internationale said...

Ideas for social media... well first, dump the idea 'media" and concentrate on 'social', then find a technology everyone can use (I like Twitter for the technophobic) then set a challenge: tell me your (business) story in 140 characters or less. Then... discuss. Heh you have relationships. Like this one

Simon said...

Hello Wales! Greetings from ruralnet|uk. We started moving our online services into this social networking world last March. Why? Because we wanted to make our services more accessible.

In particular we wanted to be able to support existing online activity _where_it_was_already_happening_ rather than expect people to come to us.

For example, you can access our Experts Online service here:
but a Governance project is just taking the Governance Q&As and putting them here (right column).

This link gives you the recent Governance Q&As in EOL - this could be delivered through a widget on any site, anywhere.

Anyway - best of luck - if you go down this route our users will be able to draw benefit from what you are doing and vice versa. Onwards and upwards!


Simon said...

I see someone mentioned twitter . . . See our rural news headlines here:

The main service is here:

But headlines are being pulled in from the main site and being filtered and used all over the place.

The ones concerned with Wales and Housing are here.

It's nearly 4:30 so I'll stop!


David Brake said...

If there's one thing I have learned it is that those of us who are interested in this are a lot more interested and capable than most. As I have said frequently I worry that unless a lot of energy is spent on getting the less-wired or un-wired involved (through showing them face to face what can be done), online discussion will either fail or only represent the views of the fraction who are most interested in using this mode of communication.

On a positive note, one key thing that can help is to actively bring the online discussion into offline meetings so that those meeting f2f are aware of and responsive to what is going on online.

Whitehall Webby said...

Great to see the power of the blogosphere running to your aid!

Menka said...

Inspiring to hear about your experiment - trying it out is the only way to really discover what aspects of social media, what balance of online and offline etc. are most useful in your context. Good luck!

Nick Booth said...

Welcome to the blogosphere from Birmingham and thank you for the water. Ask yourself how you can use wen tools to make your face to face meeetings more stimulating. Perhaps you could use a wiki to solve nuts and bolts issues from your desks- then when you come together it gives you more time to talk about the questions of value or vision?

Paul Hulbert said...

Good to see the online dimension added to a real-world conference. One of the things you can do with locality or topic-specific blogs is to filter and aggregate RSS feeds via Yahoo Pipes - - to produce newsfeeds in the sidebar. This attracts people who are interested in associated topics who might not have found your blog otherwise.

See the "Stories from local newspapers" widget on the sidebar of our blog for an example of a localised newsfeed (warning, it's a political website)

Tim Davies said...

One of the key lessons I've learnt is that just because meetings and interactions take place remotely, doesn't mean they need any less facilitation, planning or preparation.

It may seem that creating the spaces for interaction is enough - but in fact, what really works the magic is having people committed to keeping information flowing, keeping sharing happening and acting as activators and enablers in social media networks.

Sometimes that facilitation may mean sitting in the middle between online interaction and interaction on paper/phone/in-person - acting a s a bridge for the online/offline divide.

Ian Bertram said...

Like Michelle Martin I have tried Ning, but so far with limited success. I'm looking to step back one and use an old fashioned mail server via perhaps Yahoo groups, starting with distribution of a newsletter I produce and building on that before moving on to what is still to many people the more exotic forms like blogs and wikis.

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